Thursday, December 11, 2008

NASA sets out Ares V development plan

By Rob Coppinger Flight International

NASA has detailed its plans to spend at least $68 million until 2013 on the development of the largest rocket ever, its proposed Ares V cargo launch vehicle (CaLV) that will send the USA back to the Moon by 2020.

Taller and more powerful than the Saturn V, with a gross lift-off mass of just over 3.7 million kg (8.17 million lb), the 116m (360ft)-high rocket is limited by NASA's Kennedy Space Center vehicle assembly building's height.

Unveiled as the cargo launch vehicle (CaLV) in 2005 and renamed Ares V in 2006, it will have two two solid rocket boosters (SRBs) for its first-stage and a core stage that uses six Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne 797,000lb (3,500kN)-thrust (108% in vacuum) RS-68B engines. Its upper, Earth Departure Stage (EDS) will use the PW&R 294,000lb (1,308kN)-thrust J-2X, derived from Saturn V’s second-stage J-2 and under development for the Ares I crew launch vehicle’s (CLV) upper stage.

Launched 90min after Ares I, the CaLV's mission is to put the 45,000kg Altair Lunar Lander into a 242km (150miles) orbit at a 29° inclination, using its EDS, which has a mass of 101,900kg after its ascent burn.

Read the Rest HERE.